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FIREWIND, MASTERPLAN

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FIREWIND, MASTERPLAN

Masters Of Fire European Tour 2024: FIREWIND, MASTERPLAN @ ((Szene)), Wien (12.03.2024)

The Masters Of Fire Tour should have something in store for Power Metal fans. There’s Gus G.’s FIREWIND, who have finally released their latest work at the start of their tour after a four-year break. And on the other hand, MASTERPLAN around Roland Grapow (formerly HELLOWEEN) are finally back, at least with a new song that was recently released. The two international greats went on an EU tour together, deliberately foregoing any further support and stopping off in the scene in Vienna that Tuesday.

At exactly 8 p.m. the lights went out and with a long intro the musicians from MASTERPLAN gradually marched onto the stage. First up was a certain Efraim Larsson (SAFFIRE), who stood in for Kevin Kott live on the drums, followed by keyboardist Axel Mackenrott, bassist Jari Kainulainen (ex-STRATOVARIUS) and Roland, who of course had the loudest cheers. Finally, Rick Altzi stormed onto the stage and then they started loudly with the brand new track “Rise Again”, which serves as a precursor to the new album that will hopefully be released soon. The atmosphere was immediately great, the sound was a bit muddy at first, but okay and the band were visibly happy to be on stage again and therefore motivated.

MASTERPLAN presented themselves well-rehearsed, experienced and eager to play and immediately belted out classics, hymns and hits from the brand “Enlighten Me”, “Spirit Never Dies” and “Lost And Gone”. Rick cut a damn good figure both vocally and in terms of performance. Nevertheless, it still feels as if this is the “new” singer, who took over the reins from Jorn Lande over ten years ago. But this may be primarily due to the fact that they only released a regular studio album, “Novum Initium,” in 2013, which was followed by the HELLOWEEN compilation “PumpKings” in 2017. Of the two works, one song each was played: the haunting “Keep Your Dream Alive” and the very first song that Roland wrote for the Pumpkins back then, namely “The Chance”. The latter in particular, as well as the Michel Kiske duet “Heroes”, which the master himself took over, further increased the mood and exuberance in the audience. In addition to suggestive jokes in the Viennese dialect and a few unintentional announcements in English from Roland, the band was generally in a jokey mood, but didn’t torture the fans for too long between songs. And so the time just flew by and we soon arrived at the heavy sounding encore “Crawling From Hell”. Before that, the band was introduced in detail, Alex did a crazy rock’n’roll solo on the keys and briefly sang “Smoke On The Water” and Efraim was also allowed to stir the kettles and of course the legendary HELLOWEEN riff was missing likewise not. So the band celebrated again – deservedly – and left satisfied spectators in the scene.

The fans had fun with MASTERPLAN, and also had enough opportunity to sing along, jump and have fun, but also to laugh and indulge in some nostalgia, as most of the songs performed were from the self-titled debut and masterpiece “Masterplan” from 2001. And that Classics have definitely lost none of their quality and charm. We can only hope that the troops will act a little more actively in the future.

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Setlist MASTERPLAN:

Rise Again
Enlighten Me
Spirit Never Die
Lost And Gone
Crimson Rider
Back For My Life
Kind Hearted Light
Keep Your Dream Alive
Crystal Night
Soulburn
Heroes
The Chance (HELLOWEEN)

Crawling From Hell

The second headliner around the Greek guitar wizard Gus G. didn’t take long to arrive. And so here too, the well-filled, but far from sold-out scene went out on time and an intro played. As if from 0 to 100, FIREWIND blasted through the first songs of their set. The hits “Salvation Day”, “World On Fire” and “Destination Forever”, which are all newer tracks from the melodic power metal institution, transformed the small hall into a small but nice sauna full of movement, raised fists, loud cheers and happy faces. Singer Herbie Langhans also looked happy, who immediately said after the trio: “Vienna you are crazy! It’s Tuesday evening!”

In general, Herbie and Gus, who repeatedly took over the announcements, were extremely enthusiastic about Vienna, because the fans gave it their all, singing classics like the heavy “I Am The Anger” or the haunting and history-infused “War Of Ages” loudly , cheered, cheered and laughed at the entertaining announcements, which were also short and sweet. The ballad “Longing To Know You” not only brought the mood down briefly to give you goosebumps, the singer also said that the song was particularly important to him because it is about an astronaut who knows he will be with not be on earth when his son was born and he himself had just become a proud father when this song was written. Afterwards, things continued energetically again with the catchier hit “Mercenary Man”, for which the frontman wrapped himself in camouflage.

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In addition to the energetic performance by Herbie, Gus, Petros and Jo Nunez, the pretty stage design was also a highlight. Cool-looking, Greek-looking columns with the logo, a sign on the drum kit and a few other samples from which Co-2 emissions were then made, made an impression on the small stage. Nevertheless, in addition to songs from the new album “Stand United”, the Viennese were logically happy about other hits and bangers from the strong discography that had accumulated over more than 25 years of band history. Especially “Mercenary Man” or the final hit and long-running hit “Falling To Piecers” also showed that Herbie is not only a born frontman and entertainer, but also a tremendous vocal chameleon, he also manages to imitate the old singers well, but brings always puts his own style into the old hits and it works perfectly. With “Rising Fire” he encouraged people to sing along and elicited powerful “Woohooohoo’s” from the fans before he successfully invited them to dance and go wild with the cool cover song “Maniac” with the words: “Jump the fuck up!” and then join in the opulent “Ode To Leonidas” heralded the short encore block.

Setlist FIREWIND:

Salvation Day
World On Fire
Destination Forever
Destiny Is Calling
I Am The Anger
War Of Ages
The Fire And The Fury
Longing To Know You
Mercenary Man
Chains
Stand United
Allegiance
Fall Angel
Rising Fire
Maniac (MICHAEL SEMBELLO)

Ode To Leonidas
Falling To Pieces

An incredibly strong package did everything in the scene that evening, rightly forgoing an unnecessary support act and managed to bring the club to a boil even on a Tuesday. Hopefully both troops won’t take too long to get back to Austria and then the place should be sold out again, because both power metal legends deserve it, they definitely lived up to all expectations and delivered effortlessly that evening.

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FIREWIND:

MASTERPLAN:

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